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Your home is the best place to start meditating. You are comfortable here and you hopefully have a nice quiet place where you can be alone. We can show you how to meditate at home and provide some tips for preparation and building a successful daily habit.
If you are new to meditation you might want to start with our beginner’s guide to meditation here where we cover everything from the benefits to how to do it.
This is a quick guide for those that have already decided that meditation is beneficial and want to start the habit. Learning meditation at home is easy and there is no better time to get started than right now.
This looks like it might be a lot of preparation work, but we’ll try to make it really simple for you. The fewer barriers you create for yourself, the easier it will be to keep up your new meditation habit.
WHAT TIME OF DAY SHOULD I MEDITATE?
This is a common question beginners ask and the short answer is whatever time is convenient for you. If you want to make starting this new habit easy on yourself, I would suggest trying to pick a specific time and sticking to it at first.
For me that’s first thing in the morning. This is because I am more likely to forget about it later in the day or come up with the “I’m too busy” excuse. You may think you are short on time first thing in the morning. If so, then set your alarm for just 5 or 10 minutes earlier than normal. If you are already lacking in sleep then go to bed 5 or 10 minutes earlier (I have an answer for every excuse you can throw at me). If you absolutely don’t have 5 minutes in the morning, then find another time during the day. You need to find a time that is right for you.
It doesn’t really matter when you meditate, just that you do.
PREPARING FOR YOUR MEDITATION
Some people go to a lot of trouble to set up and prepare for their meditation session. Decorating a special room with cushions, elaborate mats, images and candles. They add music or chimes and burn incense to create an atmosphere. You don’t need to worry about going to that much trouble. Unless you already have a space like that ready to go it will just slow you down. As you get into your meditation practice you can add any of these things that you feel comfortable with. They are not necessary to practice meditation. Remember, keep it simple.
Think about what you want to achieve by starting your meditation. What are your goals? Most of the time, mine are to simply relax my body and mind, and take a moment to be in the now. You can meditate on a particular question or problem in your life. Or just use it as a time out to yourself.
Find a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed and turn off all distractions, TV, computer, and phone.
Find a comfortable cushion or chair or simply lay on the floor if you prefer.
Set a timer to start with for 5 or 10 minutes.
Don’t make this too hard or create too many barriers or otherwise you will not get started. The simplest way to do this is to go into a quiet room, close the door, sit or lie down, relax, and start meditating. The rest you can build on as you develop your habit.
HOW TO MEDITATE
There are many different ways to meditate at home but as I said earlier, you need to keep it simple when you are first starting.
- Set your timer (here is a handy online one http://www.onlinemeditationtimer.com/).
- Get comfortable relaxed but upright (if you are sitting) with a straight spine and hands relaxed in your lap or by your side.
- Closing your eyes will help you to focus you can also have your eyes open, relaxed with a soft gaze. Keeping your eyes open can help with focus. Try it and see what you prefer.
- Keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose if you can.
- Bring your attention to your breath, wherever you feel it the most.
- Observe your breath but try not to control it, just let it be, just experience it.
- You can count your breath if you want, a count to four on inhale and four on exhale works for me, or sometimes I will just count each breath (inhale plus exhale is 1) ten times and start again.
- If you notice your attention has wandered then gently, and without judgement, bring your focus back to your breath and restart your count.
If you would prefer to use a guided meditation to start with try this one by Tara Brach.
TIPS FOR MEDITATION SUCCESS
- Start small
- Practice every day
- Don’t worry about whether you are doing it right, you are
- Don’t worry if some days it feels like it is not working, it is
- Come to it with an open mind
Learning to meditate at home is a great introduction to a rewarding practice that you can build on as you develop your meditation skills. There are very few things in life that can provide you with so many benefits with so little time and effort put in. Get into the meditation mindset now, and complement your practice by adding some mindfulness to your daily life.